With snipers perched on the roof of an Alabama courthouse, Attorney Susan James drove up with Desmonte Leonard, the suspect in last weekend’s shootings near Auburn University. Not revealing where she picked him up from or where he was hiding, the known attorney helped the 22-year-old turn himself in to authorities, who had been the subject of an intense manhunt for the past three days.
Leonard, who is charged with three counts of capital murder and wounding three others, is said to have opened fire over a fight over a woman at a pool party. The vexing manhunt including a tear gas raid of his home—searched for nine hours—and charges against two men for misleading authorities.
Appearing to be in good health, investigators believe the pressure of being on the run got to Leonard. James, who has agreed to help the suspect with no retainer in hand yet, said upon hearing his story that opinions may change. “When the full story is told, it may sound different than the perception now.”